A famous moment from the American Revolutionary War in Charleston Harbor will be honored on new quarters for a few months in late 2016.
The Charleston Post & Courier first reported that a U.S. Mint citizens committee selected the Fort Moultrie design earlier this week as part of its “America the Beautiful” series. If approved, a Mint spokesman said all quarters minted from November 16, 2016 to January 2017 will feature the image of Sergeant William Jasper carrying the fort’s flag back to safety.
During a British fleet attack on June 28, 1776, Jasper famously jumped over the walls of Fort Moultrie (then known as Fort Sullivan) to retrieve the flag after it was shot down by a cannonball. That flag, featuring a blue background and crescent, later inspired the design for the current South Carolina state flag. The American troops were able to repulse the attack, largely due to the fort’s palmetto wood that could withstand heavy cannon fire.
The year 2016 will be the 240th anniversary of that battle.
A U.S. Mint spokesman said the final design still needs to be approved by the Treasury Secretary. He said the number of coins minted will depend on demand and the Federal Reserve’s needs, but estimated between 200 million and 400 million Fort Moultrie quarters would be created.
Fort Moultrie National Monument superintendent Tim Stone (whose purview also includes the Fort Moultrie Museum) said 2016 will also happen to coincide with the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary.
“As the group that administers Fort Moultrie… we thought that the most significant event that sort of embodied Fort Moultrie was that action by Sergeant Jasper,” he told South Carolina Radio Network.
The four other “America the Beautiful” quarters to be minted in 2016 are Shawnee National Forest in Illinois, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Kentucky, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.
The program began in 2010. The U.S. Mint plans to eventually create designs representing each of the 50 states and a half-dozen other territories.